Court shuts down law firm over fraud

by Wakili Liam
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Milimani senior principal magistrate David Ndungi on Friday directed the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to wind up the law firm of Mike Oyoo Wagunda over fraud.

The lawyer who was debarred 3 years ago was charged with defrauding a couple of Sh17.4 million in a land deal.

The magistrate said the decision is informed by the need to prevent further loss of money by the public.

“Many unsuspecting clients will continue to give instructions to the accused then end up losing their litigations and cash,” the magistrate noted.

Sh17.4 million fraud

Mr. Wagunda, who was arrested on Thursday while leaving a Milimani court, denied four counts of forgery and obtaining money through pretences.

He is charged with defrauding Mr Benson Maingi Mutahi and Ms Hellen Wanjiku Maingi of Sh17,400,000 alleging he would sell them a parcel of land in Thome Estate, Nairobi County.

He allegedly received the money between May 19 and November 29 2017.

The alleged parcel of land measuring 0.1964 hectares and valued at Sh33 million was registered in the name of Ms Waithira Njoroge.

Mr Wagunda attempted to transfer and register it in the names of the two people on September 26, 2017.

The accused, whom Mr Omariba said was struck from the roll of advocates in February 2019, allegedly forged a transfer form purporting it had been signed by Ms Njoroge, the legal owner of the land.

Defense

The sickly lawyer applied for release on bond based on both his constitutional rights and medical grounds. He said he is diabetic and also suffers from an ailment he could not disclose in an open court.

However, the prosecution led by Abel Omariba opposed the request for the accused to be remanded at Kileleshwa saying, “He should be treated preferentially as he has been charged.”

He also said the amount involved is colossal and should be commensurate with the offence in question.

Mr Ndungi freed the accused on a bond of Sh5 million with a surety of similar amount, with the alternative of a cash bail of Sh2 million and the provision of one contact person.

Mr Wagunda will be detained at Muthaiga police station until July 13, when the court will give further directions.

“He will be transferred to Industrial Area Prison (on July 13), where he will get further instructions on the case,” Mr Ndungi ordered.

The magistrate set July 13 as the pre-trial date.


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